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Pathetic state of Jets deserving of Richard Seymour ‘homecoming’ dig

Angelo Moretti

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Pathetic state of Jets deserving of Richard Seymour ‘homecoming’ dig



FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — On a day when the Jets were hurt, humiliated and humbled, it was a voice from the past that really drove home how pathetic the 2021 Jets are.

The Patriots honored former defensive lineman Richard Seymour at halftime on Sunday, and Seymour recounted when coach Bill Belichick called him to tell him he was being inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame. Seymour said Belichick asked him which game he would like to be honored at.

“I told him I wanted to come to our homecoming game against the Jets,” Seymour said to the delight of the Gillette Stadium crowd.

The worst part of the slight was the Jets deserved it.

Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones made it look like he was back at Alabama and the Jets were Vanderbilt as New England dismantled the Jets 54-13, handing the team one of its worst losses ever — and that is saying something.

Adding injury to insult, Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson exited the game in the second quarter with a right knee injury. The belief is Wilson has a PCL sprain, according to a source, and will only be out for a few weeks.

Patriots great Richard Seymour called playing the Jets, the Patriots’ “homecoming game.”AP (2)

Wilson’s status is a concern, but so is how pitiful these Jets looked on Sunday. Coming off of a bye, the Jets were outcoached by Belichick and friends in a way that was stunning.

“They punched us in the freaking mouth and scored points, so credit to them,” Saleh said. “That’s it. I mean, I’ve been in part of some of those in my life. They just don’t feel good.”

The loss dropped the Jets to 1-5 and it was their 12th straight loss to the Patriots. New England entered the game with questions about how it was playing, but used the Jets as a “get right” game and looked just fine, scoring on its first six possessions. The victory moved the Pats to 3-4 this season.

It was a humiliating defeat for the Jets, who gave up 50 points for the first time since 1995. The 54 points were the most the Jets have allowed since Sept. 9, 1979, when the Patriots beat them 56-3. The 54 points allowed is the fourth-most in franchise history. The 41-point loss is the biggest loss by the Jets since their 45-3 loss to the Patriots on Dec. 6, 2010. It is tied for the ninth-largest loss in team history.

“This is the NFL,” Saleh said. “You give up 50 points, it’s embarrassing. … A helpless feeling where you’re just watching, you’re trying to figure something out. I’ll be honest. We talk about adversity. Everyone was asking. You can chalk this one up, it’s here. This is from coaches all the way down. NFL doesn’t really give a flying [expletive] — excuse my language — in terms of scheduling. We got to line up the next week and for the 11 or 12, whatever we got left. I know we got the right men in that locker room. I know we got the right people in that locker room. I know we’ll come back strong. But we got to get it going.”

One of those men that Saleh likely will be without when the Jets face the Bengals and beyond is Wilson, the rookie the Jets hope is the answer to their decades-long search for a quarterback. Wilson made his best throw of the game, a bullet to tight end Ryan Griffin, just before he was injured.

After he uncorked a deep pass intended for Keelan Cole early in the second quarter, Wilson was hit by Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon and his right knee was driven into the ground. Wilson stayed down for several minutes before walking off and then heading to the locker room, where he remained for the rest of the game.

“I threw the ball and I think my front toe, foot kind of just got stuck in the ground,” Wilson said. “The dude just kind of fell on it with all of his weight. I kind of felt like it twisted and I felt a pop in there.”

Mac Jones is all smiles after a Patriots touchdown against the Jets.AP

Wilson will undergo an MRI exam on Monday to determine the extent of the damage to his knee, but he and Saleh both sounded optimistic that it won’t be a long absence.

“The pain really isn’t there,” Wilson said. “It just kind of feels like something’s off as far as just being loose or unstable a little bit.”

Mike White replaced Wilson and threw his first NFL pass for a touchdown to Corey Davis. White made some nice throws but also threw two interceptions as he appeared in a regular-season game for the first time. White was not the reason the Jets lost, though. The game felt over before he even entered it.

The members of the offense spent the bye week talking about how they could start faster, but opened the game with a three-and-out that showed no creativity in play-calling from coordinator Mike LaFleur. The Jets had a better second drive, but kicker Matt Ammendola missed a 48-yard field-goal attempt.

The Jets have now gone six games without scoring a point in the first quarter. The last team to do that was the 2008 Lions, who went 0-16. The Jets have been outscored 44-0 in the first quarter and 106-20 in the first half.

As bad as the offense looked, the defense matched it. The Patriots scored on their first six drives and led 31-7 at halftime and New England finished with 551 total yards.

The Jets now face a red-hot Bengals team on Sunday and travel to play the Colts four days later on “Thursday Night Football” and likely will be without Wilson in both.

The Jets are the opponent every team wants to see right now. Just ask Richard Seymour.

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Yankees haven’t fixed anything in disappointing start to offseason

Angelo Moretti

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Yankees haven’t fixed anything in disappointing start to offseason



No obligation for any of us outsiders to turn up the heat on the Yankees. Just turn back to what the ultimate insider, Hal Steinbrenner, said last month after bringing back his manager Aaron Boone:

“As a team and as an organization, we must grow, evolve and improve. We need to get better. Period.”

With one day to go before Major League Baseball, barring a miracle, locks out its players and shuts down all transactions, that sits as one mission seriously unaccomplished.

Doesn’t mean it can’t happen by Opening Day 2022, whenever that occurs. It sure as heckfire hasn’t occurred yet, though.

At Tuesday’s deadline to tender contracts, the Yankees made news with their lack of news, a distressing development for their fans already anguished by the team’s decision to stand back as big names like Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Starling Marte and Max Scherzer came off the board in a pre-lockout frenzy, the last two going to Steve Cohen’s Mets. Steinbrenner’s club retained Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit and Miguel Andujar, each candidates to be non-tendered in the realm of public speculation if nowhere else, along with other slam dunks like Aaron Judge, Jordan Montgomery and Chad Green.

Keeping Sanchez justifiably generated the biggest headlines and most social media agita, and to reiterate my opinion, it’s a significant mistake to bring back the source of so much tension and drama, no matter how much of that reflects New York’s drawbacks as much as Sanchez’s own, no matter if he can dominate offensively for a month. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman spread the word this week that he was working on a trade for a catcher. Perhaps such a transaction still can occur to find a better partner for Kyle Higashioka, although now the Yankees find themselves on the hook for about $8 million, albeit only a portion guaranteed, to Sanchez.

Gary Sanchez and Brian CashmanChristopher Sadowski. USA Today Sports

Voit, too, appeared in jeopardy after a miserable, injury-plagued 2021 during which he went to the plate 241 times, a mere seven more than during the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign when he won the big-league home run title. He’s back, for now, maybe as much as a designated hitter option (with Giancarlo Stanton preferring the outfield) as first base. Andujar, meanwhile, has totaled -1.9 wins above replacement — that’s 1.9 wins below replacement, if you prefer, as per Baseball-Reference.com — since he finished second in the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year voting. He has tallied three straight seasons of sub-replacement performance. Yeesh.

The Yankees haven’t answered their questions at shortstop or center field, and they could use another starting pitcher (they offered one year and $25 million to Justin Verlander, who accepted two years and $50 million from the Astros) plus some more bullpen depth. Moreover, the Yankees jettisoned the speedy trio of Greg Allen, Andrew Velazquez and Tyler Wade after acknowledging their desire to get more athletic.

There hasn’t been a first act this discouraging since the start of “Superman III.”

Now, before you plunge yourself into a months-long funk as the sport goes dark, don’t miss the key words there: First act.

Even after this past week’s flurry of activity, the free-agent pool features a bevy of appealing options from shortstop Trevor Story to Swiss Army knife Chris Taylor to high-end starting pitcher Carlos Rodon to a pair of lefty-hitting ex-Cub first basemen, one of whom (Anthony Rizzo) handled New York quite well, the other of whom (Kyle Schwarber) thrived in Boston. The A’s have not yet begun to sell off their veterans, including first baseman Matt Olson. And if the Yankees somehow wrested Freddie Freeman from the Braves, my hunch is you’d be just fine with Andrelton Simmons manning shortstop until Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe are ready.

(Yes, you want Sanchez gone, even if the Yankees figure out how to clone Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Jeter. Understood. And I still don’t see Carlos Correa or Marcus Stroman as fits.)

That Steinbrenner issued his mandate despite his team qualifying for the 2021 playoffs underlined the frustrating journey to a quick October exit. Growth, evolution and improvement still reside on their to-do list. If they can’t accomplish those goals in time, an angry owner will represent the least of their problems.

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Tom Thibodeau, Julius Randle ‘pissed’ at refs after Knicks’ loss to Nets

Angelo Moretti

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Tom Thibodeau, Julius Randle ‘pissed’ at refs after Knicks’ loss to Nets



The Knicks’ first game following the benching of Kemba Walker didn’t end with a victory, but it came with promise in taking the first-place Nets down to the final seconds in a 112-110 thriller at Barclays Center.

However, instead of taking the close defeat and gleaning the positives, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau and Julius Randle railed about the officiating while overshadowing the Knicks’ move to Alec Burks (25 points, five assists) as the starting point guard.

There was a lot of holiday whine in the postgame in Brooklyn.

Thibodeau ended his press conference early, saying he’s “pissed’’ and “something’s wrong,’’ referring to the foul calls. Randle then said the officials need to brush up on basketball.

Both Thibodeau and Randle could be fined by the NBA after the Knicks shot 12 free throws to the Nets’ 25.

Randle picked up a late technical foul during a timeout arguing his case and then needed to be restrained after the final buzzer.

Julius Randle and Tom ThibodeauGetty Images; N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

It’s not the first time Randle had an incident at Barclays Center, as last season he was fined for charging at referee Scott Foster after the game.

“You saw what happened, everyone saw what happened,’’ said Randle, who scored 24 points. “No need for me to talk about it. Everybody saw what was going on.

“I’m not going to talk about them. I’m going to talk about the game and what the players are doing. I’m not going to talk about those guys. They clearly don’t understand the game.’’

Told the Knicks shot just 12 free throws to the Nets’ 25, Randle said, “I shot two, right? Yeah.’’

Randle talked to the officiating crew after the game and got further incensed by the explanations.

“I don’t know what they’re watching or seeing,’’ Randle said. “I’m aggressive attacking the paint. I can’t be penalized for just being stronger than people. That’s the answer I got today.

“They said certain contact doesn’t affect me like it affects other players because I’m stronger so they missed the calls. It pissed me off even more, to be honest. It’s not how you officiate the game.

“You know when smaller players guarding bigger players, they get away with a lot more. But certain things are more blatant. If you just slap a guy, I don’t care who it is, it’s going to affect him.”

Julius RandleN.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

The Knicks’ moping was started by Thibodeau, who was asked about the Nets’ final possession in which Mitchell Robinson was called for a clear hacking foul on a driving James Johnson that produced the winning free throws.

“I don’t know,’’ Thibodeau said, pausing.

Unsolicited, Thibodeau then mentioned the discrepancy in free throws and Randle taking just two shots at the line.

“I don’t care how the game is called,’’ the Knicks coach said. “I really don’t. You call it tight, call it loose. But it’s got to be the same.

“I want to watch the film. But something’s not right. I’m watching what’s going on both ways. They’re a good team. But I know Julius was driving the ball pretty darn hard. And I’m pissed. Thank you.”

Last week, Thibodeau made an offhanded remark about the officials missing a foul call when Robinson got a concussion against the Rockets.

The TNT broadcast crew never made the officiating or foul calls an issue the entire broadcast.

Randle said he has to curtail his technicals though mouthing off probably doesn’t win friends among the striped shirts.

“I can’t let my techs affect whether we win or lose,’’ Randle said.

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Devils whipped by Sharks in Jack Hughes’ return to lineup

Angelo Moretti

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Devils whipped by Sharks in Jack Hughes’ return to lineup



The Devils had no answers for the San Jose Shark’s top gun.

Sharks’ leading scorer Timo Meier scored twice, James Reimer made 32 saves and San Jose defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-2 on Tuesday night at Prudential Center in Newark, spoiling Jack Hughes’ return.

Noah Gregor, Jacob Middleton and Erik Karlsson also scored for the Sharks, who have started their five-game road trip at 2-0.

Tomas Tatar and Jesper Bratt scored for the Devils, and Mackenzie Blackwood had 26 saves.

Gregor opened the scoring at 4:26 of the first, beating Blackwood for his first goal of the season. Radim Simek and Marc-Edouard Vlasic assisted.

Middleton made it 2-0 at 4:14 of the second period with his second goal this season, with assists going to Gregor and Alexander Barabanov.

Meier poured it on to make it 3-0 midway through the second on the power play, and Karlsson followed not long after to make it 4-0 San Jose.

Jacob Middleton scores a goal on Mackenzie Blackwood during the Devils’ 5-2 loss to the Sharks.USA TODAY Sports

Despite having Hughes back in the lineup for the first time since the second game of the season, the Devils offered a minimal offensive attack against the Sharks until the third period.

Tatar ruined Reimer’s shutout bid with his fourth goal at 9:12 of the third. Pavel Zacha and Devils captain Nico Hischier assisted, the 100th career assist for the 22-year-old.

Bratt then made it a 4-2 game with his sixth goal at 12:49, and Andreas Johnsson had the lone assist.

Meier’s second goal of the game (his team-leading 11th goal of the season) came with three minutes left in the third.

The Devils announced earlier Tuesday that the 20-year-old Hughes agreed to an eight-year, $64 million contract extension that starts next season after his three-year entry level pact expires. Hughes was the first overall pick by the Devils in the 2019 draft. He missed 17 games after suffering a shoulder injury on Oct. 19 against Seattle.

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